Daily Noontime: Friday, July 3, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday – yay, we made it!

It is also a holiday weekend, too – any fun plans for the Fourth of July?

As usual, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time, and celebrate in a smart way, too. Have a great weekend and thanks for patiently waiting for today’s Daily Noontime!


Noontime’s Headlines for Friday, July 3, 2020

Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Doesn’t Think Its Safe To Welcome Back Sports

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh doesn’t believe it is safe to welcome back pro sports to the city. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

By Matt Noonan

There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.

“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.

“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”

While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.

“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.

The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.

On This Date In History: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

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By NoontimesSports.com 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

We hope (as usual) that everyone is doing well, staying safe, and smiling, of course. The sun is shining outside our window, but it is a bit chilly and windy today, so make sure to bundle up if you need to go outside to the store or for a walk.

Let’s take another trip down memory lane with a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ for Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Have a great day, everyone!


On This Date in History: April 22nd, 2020

  • 1876: The Boston Red Stockings defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, in the first National League game in the history of baseball.
  • 1954: At the annual owners’ meeting in New York, Daniel Biasone, who was the founding owner of the Syracuse Nationals, which would become the Philadelphia 76ers, “proposed a rule that would force each team to take a shot within 24 seconds of gaining possession.”According to the New York Times, Biasone felt 24 seconds would allow each team to attempt an average of 60 shots per game. “My idea was to keep the game going, to speed it up,” Biasone said, via Charles Paikert.
  • 1995: John Smoltz, who spent a majority of his big league career pitching for the Atlanta Braves, recorded his 3,000th strikeout on this date when he retired Washington Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez in the top of the third inning.Smoltz joined an impressive list of MLB pitchers that recorded 3,000 strikeouts or more, including Nolan RyanRandy JohnsonRoger ClemensSteve Carlton, and Bert Blyleven.
  • 2010: With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams selected quarterback, Sam Bradford, who quarterbacked Oklahoma in the Big 12Ndamukong Suh, a defensive tackle from Nebraska, was selected second by the Detroit Lions while Gerald McCoy, who also played defensive tackle, was picked third by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.The New England Patriots selected Devin McCourty with the 27th pick., McCourty, who played collegiately at Rutgers, has enjoyed a very successful career with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls while becoming a player to watch on the defense.

Sports History: Jackie Robinson Makes His Debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers

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On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. (PHOTO COURTESY: J. R. Eyerman/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It was on this date 73 years ago (April 15, 1947) when Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming just the second African American to play professional baseball since catcher Moses Fleetwood Walker suited up for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association in 1884.

The 28-year-old infielder, who was a native of Georgia and credited for breaking the color barrier, had his contract purchased just five days ahead of the Dodgers’ season-opener after spending the previous year with the team’s minor league affiliate the Montreal Royals.

Robinson and the Royals enjoyed a very successful 1946 campaign, winning 100 games while capturing the Governor’s Cup for beating the Syracuse Chiefs in five contests.

In his debut with the Dodgers, Robinson recorded one run and one walk in three plate appearances while Pete Reiser led Brooklyn with three runs on two hits. Eddie Stanky also scored a run against Boston while drawing one walk.

Robinson, who was named the 1947 MLB Rookie of the Year, would conclude his initial season by producing 125 runs, 175 hits, 31 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, and 48 RBI in 590 plate appearances. He led the National League with 29 stolen bases in 1947 while helping Brooklyn reach the World Series. Unfortunately, Brookly lost the World Series in seven games to the New York Yankees, but Robinson and the Dodgers would win the Fall Classic eight years later.

The 1955 World Series victory against the Yankees would be the only championship Robinson would celebrate as he would retire the following season after leading Brooklyn back to the Fall Classic against New York.

Years after his 10-year career with the Dodgers ended, the MLB permanently retired his No. 42 before former commissioner Bud Selig announced that April 15th would be known as “Jackie Robinson Day.” The first official “Jackie Robinson Day” was held in 2004 with every player wearing the No. 42.